Pineapple Tarts

published Jan 20, 2023
Pineapple Tarts Recipe

A pastry often enjoyed to ring in the Lunar New Year, these mini tarts have a melt-in-your-mouth cookie base and a pineapple compote topping.

Makes24 (1 1/2-inch) tarts

Prep40 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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someone taking pineapple tarts out of a plate
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Prop Styling; Anne Eastman

Pineapple tarts are a popular pastry in parts of Asia and are even more special during Lunar New Year celebrations. When I was growing up, my parents always made sure there were pineapple cakes in the pantry. The perfect after-school snack, they were most often Taiwanese-style (my dad grew up there!), which are rectangular in shape. But I was often gifted floral-shaped tarts for special occasions, like Lunar New Year. This is when I enjoyed them most. We would share them with close friends and family that would come over for New Year visits (also known as bai leen).

My bite-size pineapple tarts feature a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie base, topped with a homemade pineapple compote. Many Lunar New Year food items are eaten for their symbolic meaning. The appearance of these pineapple tarts is that of a blooming lotus flower, representing honor. The pineapple fruit itself is also seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity.

Pineapple Tarts Recipe

A pastry often enjoyed to ring in the Lunar New Year, these mini tarts have a melt-in-your-mouth cookie base and a pineapple compote topping.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes 24 (1 1/2-inch) tarts

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 1/4 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 (20-ounce) can

    crushed pineapple

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the egg wash:

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon

    water

Instructions

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  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. Drain 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple and place in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Transfer to a pie plate or small rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the crust.

Make the crust:

  1. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1 large egg yolk and beat until smooth, about 30 seconds.

  2. Add 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

  3. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Pat into a 1-inch-thick disc and tightly wrap in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the pineapple filling is cool.

Assemble the tarts:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 large egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.

  2. Unwrap the dough and place between 2 sheets of parchment paper (alternatively, roll out on a lightly floured work surface). Roll out the dough until 1/4-inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch regular or scalloped round cutter, cut out 24 rounds.

  3. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart (they will not spread when baking). Using the rounded back of a teaspoon, create a light indent in the center of each round.

  4. Gather the dough scraps and form into a ball. Place back between the parchment and roll until 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips, then cut the strips crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Brush the pieces with the egg wash.

  5. Divide the pineapple filling into 24 portions (about 1 teaspoon each). Roll each portion into a ball, then press down slightly to form a patty a scant 1/2-inch thick.

  6. Brush each round with the egg wash. Place a patty of pineapple filling onto the center of each round. Top each patty of filling with 2 pieces of the dough in an “X” pattern.

  7. Bake until the tarts are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Storage: The tarts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.